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A Weight Lifted
by Phil Bencomo
Carlos Zambrano will make his first post-extension-signing start today (weather permitting). Jim Hendry said that the negotiations were to blame for Carlos' poor outing last week, and Carlos confirmed that the deal was on his mind. With the deal completed, I fully expect to see a rejuvenated Zambrano, much like the Carlos of mid-season, today and until season's end.
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St. Louis may be better than its hobbled roster would indicate, but that doesn't mean the Cards are very good. There's a reason the club's expected record, per runs scored and runs allowed, is 54-66. St. Louis' losses to start the current series shout, "Regression! Regression!"
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The Cubs, with 99, have the third-fewest home runs in the league, but are second in doubles with 258, three behind league-leading Philadelphia. In AVG, OBP and SLG, the Cubs are decidedly average.
The result: a mediocre offense. The Cubs rank eighth in the league in runs scored, roughly 100 below the leader and 100 above the inept.
So count me among those excited to see the team hitting the ball out of the ballpark with increased frequency as of late. Even Jason Kendall managed to poke one out last week.
And while home runs aren't everything, it would do wonders for my peace of mind if the Cubs at least out-homered Pittsburgh.